Money, Giving, and Happiness

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Can money buy happiness? Check out this video for some interesting thoughts on the topic.

I stumbled across this video during a web-surfing session earlier this week. I found it to be intriguing. Hopefully, you’ll have a chance to watch it. It’s short and insightful.

If not, the crux of the clip is that money can buy happiness — depending on how you spend it. The idea is that giving to others can bring you more joy. I think I’m apt to agree with that.

Earlier this week I did one of those pay-it-forward things that was floating on Facebook at the start of the year. It sort of turned out to be a pay-it-backward kind of thing since I remembered that I had already signed up for one of those things and then never delivered.

Anyway, the process of gifting Starbucks cards to an eclectic group of friends and acquaintances was such FUN! It felt good to give. It was money well spent and I don’t miss it. at. all.

I know that donating toys and food at the holidays felt good. I know that buying a cup of coffee for the lady behind me was such fun. Doing good and sharing with others is hedonistic in a sense, but also what God has called us to do.

I’m curious what you think about the topic.

Can money buy happiness?

Does giving make you feel good? What did YOU think of the video?

This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link. But better yet, chat with us in the comments.

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  1. Love this! I just posted about Random Acts of Kindness, and I’ve challenged myself to spend $10 a week on a RAK and share it on my blog as a means of accountability. I invite others to join me as well, and share our ideas!! Giving is such an amazing spiritual principal that brings back so much to the giver. It puts the focus on someone else and off of self, which is against our nature!

  2. Yes! When spent on others money can buy happiness. After my mother passed away I set aside a portion of the financial legacy she left me to give. I let God do the urging on my heart, and He had me give some big gifts and some little gifts and in each my pain of grieving was eased.

  3. I’m gonna say yes. Jessica, I think I keep recommending All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam to you–this would be a great time to read it! She covers this topic in detail, even suggesting things like setting aside philanthropy fun money.

    I’d love to hear you talk about your Starbucks-gifting experience a bit more 🙂

    1. That was a great book! It has caused me to think about how we are spending our money and what it’s purpose is. In the end, money is just a tool in life. We can chose to use it in a variety of ways just like any good tool!

  4. I agree with and like the video and the notion that money can buy happiness if spent in the right way. I get a lot of happiness out of giving to others and charities. There’s truly nothing better than being in a position to do so either! This post has been great Frugal Friday food for thought:)

  5. crazy how God uses you to help me 🙂 I’ve been working on this issue for while. I’d always wanted to pay it forward by paying for someone behind me in line. I finally did it and felt GREAT! Then I felt guilty because I was afraid that my feeling so good about it made my “service” less valuable in God’s eyes. Finally I came to the conclusion that God would know my intentions and the happiness I felt was a added benefit. I think that I i’ve got a scewed view due to my sister who likes to brag about all the money she gives and acts as if I should be in awe of how generous she is. I don’t want to be like that.

    Hope this makes sense.

    1. I think that if God asks us to do something, it’s to give us joy as well as himself. Our God is a happy God and He knows what is good for us. 😉

      Yeah, and don’t boast in it like your sister, but it’s okay to tell us. 😉

  6. I agree that money can buy happiness when you share it. It seems like the opposite is true too that money can buy unhappiness if hoarded and used selfishly. I think there’s a balance there to be sure, but it’s an interesting concept. Thanks for your insight. Something to think about for sure. 🙂

  7. I feel best about donations when they come from money I previously “wasted” on other items. When we got rid of cable or sold some items in our basement that we weren’t using, it felt great to turn around and spend that money on helping others. It was such a positive reinforcement for the work of finding and selling used goods that it made me want to get right back down there and find other items to sell!

    I run a semi-monthly blog carnival about simplicity parenting, and I would love to hear more from this group about how you handle your finances. Is simple living a luxury, a choice, or a necessity? Feel free to join up with us as we attempt to answer tough questions.

    1. I can understand. We’ll see if there are others who feel the same way. Honestly, it was a lot of work to keep up that way and to make sure that folks weren’t linking inappropriately. You are always welcome to leave links in the comments section. It takes a little more effort, but it shows more intention, too.